Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/550

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subject of Satyr and the songs of Drunkards. We have a king to our founder and yet want a Macaenas; and above all a Spirit like yours to raise up Benefactors and to compell them to thinke the Designe of the Royall Society as worthy of their reguards and as capable to embalme their names, as the most heroic enterprise, or anything Antiquity has celebrated; and I am even amaz'd at the wretchednesse of this Age that acknowledges it no more. But the Devil, who was ever an enemy to Truth and to such as discover his praestigious effects, will never suffer the promotion of a designe so destructive to his dominion, which is to fill the world with imposture and keep it in Ignorance, without the utmost of his malice and contradiction. But you have numbers and charms that can binde even these spirits of darkenesse, and render their instruments obsequious; and we know you have a divine Hyme for us; the luster of the Royall Society calls for an Ode from the best of Poets upon the noblest Argument. To conclude, you have a field to celebrate the Greate and the Good, who either do or should favour the most august and worthy designe that ever was set on foot in the world; and those who are our real Patrons and Friends you can eternize, those who are not you can conciliate and inspire to do gallant things."

Evelyn's indignant defense of his beloved association is not surprising when we read the abuse the F. R. S. received from some of the most talented writers of the seventeenth century. The witty Dr. South said that the members of the Royal Society "could admire nothing but fleas, lice, and themselves." Hobbes, the philosopher of Malmesbury, considered them so many laborers, apothecaries, gardeners, and mechanics, who "might now all put in for and get the prize." Cross, Vicar of Chew, wrote ribald pamphlets and ballads, which he got sung about the streets, against the new philosophy. Stubbes, a man of perverted genius, accused the F. R. S. of atheism and treason, and they greatly feared his formidable series of attacks. Dr. King burlesqued their published volumes of Transactions, and ridiculed alike their grammar, style, and the inventions and discoveries they described. Wotton, who was a less sensitive F. R. S. than Evelyn, treats King, in his Reflections upon Ancient and Modern Learning, with "great good humor." He says: "A man is got but a very little way [in philosophy] that is concerned as often as such a merry gentleman as Dr. King shall think fit to make himself sport." Sir John Hill published a quarto volume of satire in the form in which the Transactions of the society were issued, and other books against the Fellows. But he did them good, for his parodies and ridicule taught them to be more cautious in the selection of papers for their printed reports.

In his preface to his Sylva the usually amiable Evelyn scolds at